Following the increase in number of malnourished children in Nigeria, especially, in the Northern states, the Sokoto State government said it will start producing Ready to Use Therapeutic Food (RUTF), a nutrient used for treating malnutrition.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Shehu Balarabe, who said this in Sokoto, said the state government can no longer afford to continue to spend on the importation of RUTF, which is produced from groundnut paste.
“In the past, we imported Ready to Use Therapeutic Food from South Africa and United States. However, we’re now working to stop that. We will soon start producing it here in Sokoto.
“RUTF is highly nutritious and is made from groundnut paste. We also thank God that Dangote is investing in the production of the drug in Nigeria, so we commend him for that.”
Balarabe said that if proper measures are taken, all that was needed in Nigeria for proper nutrition is available. He added that “breastfeeding can save Nigeria in excess of N300 billion every year. Breastfeeding is part of nutrition and it’s free.”
Earlier, a nutrition specialist, UNICEF, Sokoto field office, Paul Mudzongo, had, charged the newsmen to wake-up to their responsibilities by holding public office holders accountable as they discharge their duties, so as to ensure transparency in the way they utilise funds allocated to children-related issues.
He also urged the media to be in the front burner through their reportage in getting government committed in the fight against malnutrition.
Mudzongo, advocated a renewed commitment and immediate attention by governments at all levels in Nigeria to curb the trend of malnutrition by adopting a comprehensive state and multi-sectoral nutrition strategic action.